EDUCATION: Key to development

A strong economy stands on the foundation of an efficient system of education

G A Gulzar
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 13 2018 11:47PM | Updated Date: May 13 2018 11:47PM
EDUCATION: Key to developmentFile Photo

The first need of a living being is food. This fact gives birth to economics of our social life. An eminent economist Malthus even propounded a theory of population correlated with the food production. According to his findings, human population grows in geometrical progression such as  1----2 ---4----8-----16—and so on where as food production grows in arithmetical progression  1---2---3---4----5----and so on. A widening gap between the two was seen as a great cause of concern at that time. The rapid advancement in the field of education brought forth the scientific inventions of the modern times. It is because of this advancement of education that economists included technology as a function of income or production other than labour and capital which proved Malthusian theory of population as mere myth. Thus the essence of education suggests that it is education and not economics which makes a nation strong. Education is a cause and economics might be treated as an effect.

Again, for any lucrative project, economists brought forth a criteria that the project must testify the cost benefit ratio of being less than  1, as shown in this Algebraic expression,[ C/B<1] ,where C stands for cost and B for benefit.In the wake of Welfare Economics education and many other departments of public interest have been exempted from this criteria. For a common reader the objective of welfare economics can be understood by an example. Suppose the cost of production of a given product is Rs. 900. You sell it for Rs.950, in the open market. It is a genuine economic activity. Now if you are a philanthropic entrepreneur. You may offer the price of the product as Rs.500 only, much less than the actual cost. This is what welfare economics suggests for the sake of the general public. Since the State commands the natural resources of a nation, in addition to taxation it becomes mandatory for the Good Governance to look after the welfare of its people in accordance with its National Income. No doubt,education  must enjoy the priority.

In order to understand the pivotal role of Private Sector even in the field of education  we shall have to keep in mind the three different economic systems  known in general---Socialism, Capitalism and Mixed Economy. Socialism neglects the role of any private sector. It is not thought ideal for production but it deserves the appreciation in the matters of distribution. Capitalism ignores public sector but it takes a lead in the production field. Mixed Economy is a viable adjustment of good points from both Socialism and Capitalism. It acquired universal acceptability. In this economic system both Public and Private sectors have been recognized .Since the control of the overall resources of a state lies in the hands of a government of a state so the onus lies on the Government to keep a check on the activities of the Private sector .

This elementary description of economics enables even a layman to understand the role of public and private sectors in our day to day life or the contemporary political economy. Both are important as the correlation between the two is unavoidable. What is even more important is whether the people in general are aware about their Rights and Duties. In modern times it is the people who choose their governments.If they are not educated, how can they safeguard their rights or perform their duties?

Economists while counting the numerous causes of economic backwardness of a nation, mention illiteracy as one of them. An illiterate person is prone to superstitions, rude customs and extravaganza. On the  other hand an educated person believes in honesty, reason equality, selflessness and justice. If he is not so, unfortunately he is not educated in the real sense of the word. Munshi Prem Chand is a well known Urdu fiction writer. In one of his fictions he narrates a story of a doctor who was appointed to serve in a remote village. The way to Gujenderpur runs through a thick forest. He was confronted bad weather condition. He lost courage to move on. Soon he saw a woman coming out of the forests with a head load of dried wood. She was singing and marching fearlessly. The doctor was highly impressed by this illiterate woman and asked her about Gujenderpur.  The woman replied that it might take one hour to reach the village. He collected his courage to proceed on and was inspired by the bravery of this woman. Munshi  Ji draws moral of the story; If the  aim of our education is not to produce degrees only then the illiterate woman has reached the climax of education.

In the same way if the main aim of good governance is to run a welfare state it becomes mandatory to set  right the department of education. Unless quality education, in its real sense, does not flourish from our educational institutions, especially under the control of public sector, we should not expect miracles from a paralyzed system of governance. 

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